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[liberationtech] Commotion Beta is out: Free Wireless Mesh Network Software

Andrew Reynolds andrew at opentechinstitute.org
Thu Mar 21 13:50:08 PDT 2013


Thanks James,

The Commotion team is excited about the new developer release of the
Commotion platform. We have already received several bug reports and
feature requests following our initial DR1 binary upload a few days ago.
This has helped us take steps towards bringing this from the current,
unstable nightly build to a stable release.

The focus of this release has been to improve Commotion’s usability, so
that both developers and users without extensive background knowledge in
mesh networking can get a mesh network up and running. This lack of
usability has historically been a barrier to implementation and
experimentation.

The goal of this release is to provide opportunities for a wider
community of testers, including security and application developers, to
experiment with the Commotion platform. This release itself does not
have strong security, but contains tools and APIs to develop secure
applications. We are looking forward to working with developers in our
community to develop secure tools on top of this platform.

While we have implemented new security features that differentiate this
release from our last, users should carefully read the warning label,
located on our Download page, before using the software in a situation
where security is required. The warning will be updated to reflect the
current audits once we have completed thorough testing and evaluation of
the new release.

Commotion development is ongoing. We currently have a multi-year
development roadmap
<https://code.commotionwireless.net/projects/commotion/wiki/Hackday-Roadmap-Notes>
that lays out all the planned features we will implement. We strongly
invite constructive feedback, contributions, and experimentation with
our software <https://github.com/opentechinstitute/commotion-openwrt>.
We are working hard towards our full version 1.0 release which we are
aiming to land towards the end of this year.

-andrew

On 03/21/2013 03:47 PM, James Losey wrote:
> Hi All,
> 
> I wanted to share that OTI released Commotion Beta, free, open source,
> wireless networking platform this week. This “Developer Release #1” (DR1)
> makes Commotion’s technology available for testing and feedback and is
> freely available from the project website: www.commotionwireless.net. I
> would encourage you to check it out, but please head our caution that this
> release is BETA and thus should not be used for mission-critical and/or
> sensitive communications until version 1.0 is released. This release
> includes:
> 
>    - A fully integrated web-interface in addition to traditional
>    command-line access.
>    - QuickStart setup wizard
>    - A set of core libraries that will form the backbone of a common
>    network management interface across Commotion platforms
>    - An application portal that makes it easy to announce and discover
>    authenticated local social applications
>    - A debugging tool to provide one-click error reports for network
>    maintainers
> 
> There are also security features including  basic network encryption, which
> brings mesh networking up to the level of security expected from today’s
> wireless networks.  Commotion adds an additional layer of security by
> allowing the use of network keys and application signing through the use of
> The Serval Project’s http://www.servalproject.org/ Serval daemon, making it
> easier to identify bad-agents posing as legtimate services. These features
> form the foundation for the Commotion security features under active
> development. Again, this is beta and *not* for sensitive communications at
> this time.
> 
> If you want to try setting up your own network, interested in providing
> feedback or just want to learn more head over over to
> www.commotionwireless.net.
> 
> Best,
> James
> 
> 
>  RELEASE: OTI Launches Commotion Beta: Free Wireless Mesh Network Software
> Commotion Technology Revolutionizes Community Wireless by Providing a Safe,
> Low-Cost Option
> *Published:  * March 20, 2013
> 
> Washington, DC — The New America Foundation's *Open Technology
> Institute <http://oti.newamerica.net/>
> *(OTI) announced today the public release of Commotion Beta - a free, open
> source, wireless networking platform. This “Developer Release #1” (DR1)
> makes Commotion’s technology available for testing and feedback and is
> freely available from the project website:
> *www.commotionwireless.net<https://commotionwireless.net/>
> *. Please note that Commotion is in Beta and should not be used for
> mission-critical and/or sensitive communications until version 1.0 is
> released.
> 
> Commotion is a cutting-edge open-source communications software platform
> that uses laptops, mobile phones, and other Wi-Fi devices to create
> decentralized, wireless “mesh” networks.  Commotion interconnects devices
> directly to one-another in a peer-to-peer manner to form a “spider web” of
> connectivity.
> 
> “Commotion Beta is a transformative technology - the culmination of years
> of research and development by hundreds of developers around the globe,”
> said New America Vice President and OTI Director Sascha Meinrath, who is
> the founder of Commotion Wireless. “Commotion is an incredible resource for
> empowering communities and constituencies worldwide, helping with a variety
> of different needs, from spreading low-cost connectivity, securing
> communications, and enhancing disaster-response.”
> 
> Commotion Beta adds new usability enhancements and features that simplify
> mesh network setup and reduce the difficulty of network maintenance.  DR1
> contains a fully integrated web-interface in addition to traditional
> command-line access.  Among the new technical features in DR1 are a
> QuickStart setup wizard, a set of core libraries that will form the
> backbone of a common network management interface across Commotion
> platforms, an application portal that makes it easy to announce and
> discover authenticated local social applications, and a debugging tool to
> provide one-click error reports for network maintainers. These features
> will be ported to the Android, Linux, and OS X clients over the next
> quarter.
> 
> The DR1 release also includes key security features, beginning with basic
> network encryption, which brings mesh networking up to the level of
> security expected from today’s wireless networks. Commotion adds an
> additional layer of security by allowing the use of network keys and
> application signing through the use of The Serval Project’s
> http://www.servalproject.org/ Serval daemon, making it easier to identify
> bad-agents posing as legtimate services. These features form the foundation
> for the Commotion security features under active development.
> 
> 
> 
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